Police cracking down on school threats

INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. - Make a threat, go to jail. Police are hoping that simple message will prevent a repeat of the string of threats we saw last school year.

At one point there were three in holt schools in the span of six weeks.

FOX 47's Alani Letang found out why police are planning to drop the hammer if it happens again.

Police have to take these threats seriously whether they're made on social media or scribbled on a bathroom wall

That's why even if the student said they were joking, police aren't laughing.

"If you want to be a comedian join the circus or hit the Vegas strip, but certainly don't try to be funny on social media when it comes to threats of violence because they aren't a joke," said Sheriff Scott Wrigglesworth, Ingham County.

Where a student might think its joke, it's considered a serious crime.

It can throw an entire district into chaos, and tie up police officers for hours even days

"That gets parents on edge, sometimes school districts have to close, parents don't know when they can send their kids back to school until we find out who did that. Is it real? is it not real?"

It's that uncertainty that has one grandma worried about her grandson when he goes to school.

"I think about those things all the time, and try to think of better ways that they could protect them but you just have to really be cautious," said Kaye Sanders, a grandmother to a student.

Police said that conversation starts at home, instilling in your children the seriousness of the crime and the effect it can have on a child's future.
But even if there's no conviction, it's not going away.

"We've talked to him about it, and about safety at school," said Sanders.

"If you want to be a law enforcement officer sometime down the road if you do this one time it would make it very very hard for me to hire somebody that even as a 14 or 15-year-old kid was posting about shooting up or blowing up a school," said Wrigglesworth.